SLA printing uses technology inspired by the “metal man” in the Terminator movies. Focused UV light hardens the resin from a pool.
The object is then drawn from the resin.
It has been an 18 month wait for this new technology to arrive at our doorstep and we are excited by the print results.
5 good things about SLA printing
SLA printed products have advantages over prints using standard filament;
SLA printing achieves higher resolution than FDM printing because each layer is solidified by a beam of light on a solid surface. The new layer of resin is hardened against the last layer. In contrast to FDM printing, there is no chance of the new layer melting the fine structures of the previous layer.
Vastly improved accuracy
The resolution and accuracy of SLA printing is much higher than FDM.
There are many reasons for this.
- The Z resolution can be as small as a few microns. This gives an instant boost to resolution.
- The X/Y resolution is also smaller.
- Light beams solidify the resin, so there is no head moving across the print causing distortion to the edges and fine structure.
The cured plastic is harder because of the chemistry. SLA resins are designed to cross-link. This means that the finished object will retain it’s shape. Depending on the chemistry used, this can mean harder surfaces …. or even rubbers that will resist compression set.
We finish the parts by curing under a UV light and an oxygen free blanket of gas.
The prints are highly detailed, watertight, hard, smooth and ready to go.
Production runs of small to medium sized parts
SLA printing is setting new standards for print quality and accuracy. When you feel the parts, they feel like they came from a production line, not from a 3d printer.
We keep the support material to a minimum to make the surface smooth. The attachment points to the part are also smaller and easier to remove.
This is a fantastic new addition to our printing equipment that will offer makers, students and professionals a huge increase in accuracy for small to medium sized prints.